Rockford Area Schools Home Page
« November 2015 »
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Upcoming Events
- Late Start Day
8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- School Board Meeting
6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
District Announcements
Rocketc - School Store to Open Nov 30
Join us for the Rocketc - School Store grand opening on Monday, November 30!
The celebration will be held at the RHS Commons, right outside of the school store, from 3:30 to 7 pm. The ribbon cutting will be held at 3:25 pm. Light refreshments will be served.
2016-17 Academic Calendar
The Rockford Board of Education is currently reviewing a proposed 2016-17 Academic Calendar. Feedback is welcomed on next year's calendar. To view the proposed calendar, click here. If you would like to make any suggestions or have a concern, click here for the survey. Thank you.
RMS-CES Recognized for Innovation and Creativity
From turning a bike and trailer into a mobile library to building geothermal ice rinks and creating think tanks or community collaborative projects, Minnesota governments are becoming increasingly creative in redesigning how they do business. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota  named 24 such projects as recipients of its ninth annual Local Government Innovation Awards on November 25, 2015. The awards recognize projects in four different categories, and name one overall award winner in each: cities, counties, schools, and townships.

Rockford Middle School Center for Environmental Studies was recognized as one of the top five schools in the State of Minnesota for its program- Growing Young Stewards:A School and Community Partnership.

“Every year, we see more and more creative ways that governments are figuring out how to save money but still deliver the same high quality of services,” says Jay Kiedrowski, senior fellow at the Humphrey School’s Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center. “I think that these awards are helping to raise the bar for delivering excellent government services, and that’s very exciting.”

A panel of judges considered nearly 80 submissions for their creativity, sustainability, and collaboration. The overall winners of the four categories will receive a $5,000 grant from the Bush Foundation to continue their work and a professionally produced video to use for marketing and awareness. All 24 awardees will be formally recognized at an awards ceremony and reception Thursday, December 10, at 4 p.m. at the Humphrey School.  

The School category winners of the 2015 Local Government Innovation Awards include: 
  • Minnesota partnership for Collaborative Curriculum—Plymouth (overall category winner)
  • Kandiyohi County CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities)—Grove City Area School District
  • Growing Young Stewards:A School and Community Partnership—Rockford Area Schools
  • Courses that Count: Partnering to Reduce Remedial Coursework—White Bear Lake Area Schools
  • Closing the Achievement Gap—Crookston Public Schools
  • Collaborative Cross-Site Mobile MakerSpaces—Wayzata School District
To learn more about the awards program, visit
MREA Awards RMS-CES with Profile of Excellence
MREA honored Greater Minnesota schools with the 2015 Profile of Excellence Awards on Nov. 16 at an Awards Banquet at Cragun’s on the Lake in Brainerd in conjunction with the MREA Annual Conference: Great Beginnings. The Profile of Excellence Award recognizes innovative programs and efforts that serve as an example of educational opportunities for rural students. MREA honored Rockford Area Schools with Profile of Excellence Exemplary Program Award. Southwest-West Central Service Cooperative and Perham-Dent Public Schools received Honorable Mentions.

Exemplary Program-Exploratory Class at Rockford Middle School Center for Environmental Studies
From answering how to enhance a message with music and video to pondering, “Would you like fries with that?” Exploratory Class at Rockford Middle School-Center for Environmental Studies has become a highlight of their students’ week.

As a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) magnet school serving students in grades 5-8, RMS- CES established relationships with community groups to ensure students received authentic, relevant learning experiences in its new Exploratory Class program. Partners include the sheriff’s office, a dairy farm, airport, and food shelf.

Each Exploratory class incorporates one or more STEM standard. From fries to fish populations, Exploratory classes are guided by a driving question. Each class meets for 65 minutes every Wednesday, and students rotate every quarter to a new class. Students who attend RMS-CES for four years will be exposed to 16 Exploratory classes over their middle school experience.

RMS completed its second year of Exploratory classes last school year. Students are not pulled out of Exploratory for other classes or services, reducing divisions between grade levels, general and special education, and other characteristics that may detract from a unified school community. Attendance records demonstrated that student attendance was generally the highest on Wednesdays, when Exploratory class was offered, because no one wanted to miss out.

To read more about MREA's award recipients, click here.

Rockford Educators Recognized for Educational Excellence
Three Rockford Educators were recognized at the Leadership in Educational Excellence Awards Ceremony, sponsored by Resource Training and Solutions, on November 4 in St. Cloud. Congratulations to teachers Kathy Mattson, Jennifer Peihl and Kevin Neff!
Over 500 people attended the event to honor 155 educators who were recognized with a plaque and certificate from the Governor of Minnesota.  The honorees were nominated by their school or district.  There were 40 school districts/agencies represented at the event that include public, private, parochial, charter schools, the Meeker & Wright Special Education Cooperative and the Wright Technical Center.
The evening began with a welcome and congratulations by Mark Schmitz, executive director of Resource. “I have been a teacher, principal and most recently a superintendent.  I look at my experiences as a teacher as the ones that have given me the most value in my life…and, often the most humbling,” he said.  “Many times the gift you give students may not be about what you teach, it is the relationships you create,” Schmitz concluded.
Keynote speaker Willow Sweeney said, “We all know we are not in control of many situations.  How we react to them is totally up to you. The difference between chaos and harmony can be directly related to the culture you have created in your classroom. You get to decide how your room feels when anyone enters. Bring your positive energy to classroom, then teach science.”
The event is sponsored by the participating school districts, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the Horace Mann Agency and Resource Training & Solutions.  It is coordinated by Sandra Cordie, Director of Educational Program.  This banquet marked the 24th anniversary of the LEEA event.  To date, there have been 3,499 educators in the Central MN region who have received this recognition. 
Late Start Day Dec 7
The third late start day of the 2015-16 school year is Monday, December 7, 2015.
  • Elementary school, classes will start at 10:05 AM
  • Middle school classes will start at 9:50 AM
  • High school classes will start at 10:00 AM
  • Bus pick times will be two hours later than the normal pick up time
Annually, Rockford Area Schools provide four, two-hour late start days for professional development opportunities for our staff. The remaining late start day for this school year is February 16, 2016.

If you have any other questions regarding the late start day, please contact your school office:
  • REAMS 763-477-5837
  • RMS-CES 763-477-5831
  • RHS 763-477-5846
Winter Hazard Awareness Week November 9-13
Rockford Area Schools and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) are teaming up for the annual Winter Hazard Awareness Week campaign, November 9-13, 2015.
At some point, it will snow and temperatures will drop below zero. There will be ice on the roads. High winds will raise the risk of being outdoors from hazardous to life-threatening.

The best way to avoid the hazards is to stay warm and cozy indoors, but it’s tough to stay cooped up for months — and even staying indoors for long periods carries risks. Problems can arise with indoor air, and fire risks increase dramatically in the winter.
Are your ready for it?  Do you know how to stay warm, safe and happy all winter?
Well, fear not. Surviving — even enjoying — the winter season is not as hard as it looks to the uninitiated.
To help Minnesotans and visitors handle winter-weather threats, HSEM, with support from partner agencies, has created the Winter Hazard Awareness information campaign.

The campaign kicks off in early November  with Winter Hazard Awareness Week, and continues through the season on their website with updates, timely facts and tips.  The web links listed here address some of the most common topics. Each page contains tips, fact sheets, data and links to additional resources. Refer to these pages throughout the season, and check back for updates and added resources.
School Day Hours for 2015-16

High School: 8 am-2:50 pm
Middle School: 7:50 am-2:45 pm
Elementary School: 8:05 am-2:55 pm
Have Young Children? Fill out Your Census Information Today!
If you are NEW to our district, welcome!
If you have a new baby/child, congratulations!

If you have recently moved to our school district and have children ages birth through five, it is important that they are included in the school census. Each year Rockford Area Schools conduct a district-wide census to count the number of children who live in our school district. This is vital information for planning and providing educational services, as well as meeting state requirements. Being on the school census ensures that you receive notification about early childhood classes, early childhood screening, kindergarten round-up and other school-related information.

Please take a moment to fill out the on-line Census Form.

If you have more than 4 children, please fill out additional forms as necessary. If you are not sure whether your children are listed on the school census, please contact the early childhood office at 763-477-7500.

Weather/Emergency Procedures
School closings due to severe weather or other emergency reasons will be announced over KARE (11),  WCCO (4), KSTP (5) and KMSP (9). In addition, an email and/or phone announcement will be made to families using the contact information received in our student database, Infinite Campus.

Generally, school will be in session if it is felt that the buses can make their routes in relative safety. Even if school is in session, parents are asked to assess their situation and determine whether or not it is safe for their children to attend school on a particular day. If a parent determines not to send their child to school due to deteriorating weather conditions, the absence will be excused.

For more detailed information on emergency closings, click here.
Northwest Suburban Integration School District (NWSISD) is a collaborative of eight area school districts in the northwest metro.  We provide our schools and communities with a variety of programs and services to promote racial equity and cultural awareness.  We provide opportunities for students to participate in education programs that are multi-cultural, varied, and racially integrated.  Program options are voluntary and available to families based on school choice.
Through magnet programming, families will experience the following:
  • An opportunity to experience a K-12 magnet series within one theme:The Arts, International Baccalaureate, or STEM/STEAM.
  • A large variety of school choice options within our eight member districts.
  • Magnet programming that eliminates, reduces, or prevents racial isolation in elementary and secondary schools.
  • Continuation of transportation for magnet students if they move anywhere within member district boundaries.
The eight member districts of NWSISD include Anoka-Hennepin School District, Brooklyn Center Schools, Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose Schools, Elk River Area School District, Fridley Public Schools, Mounds View Public Schools, Osseo Area Schools, and Rockford Area Schools.  Collectively, NWSISD and its member districts have a charge to work together on integration and achievement goals.
Entrance into NWSISD magnet schools is application based.  Priority application registration is open mid-October through end of December with the lotteries taking place beginning of January.  To learn more about NWSISD, its application timeline and to apply via online application, please visit
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